Joan MacDonald is a grandmother who, at age 70, shattered all stereotypical ideas about retirement living. She changed herself, her life, and is now changing the thinking of millions of adults.
Three years ago, we already told you how she achieved this change. Today, we’ll remind you of her story and tell you what happened to her during that time. And at the end of the article you’ll get a coach’s analysis of her naturalness and form.
So, Joan lived an ordinary life and had nothing to do with sports. She didn’t even exercise. The most she did in her life was a little walking.
She’s also always been overweight. And as Joan now admits, she is not naturally prone to obesity, but a failed marriage did its job. Lack of mutual understanding, constant scandals, and on the back of this enormous stress, she ate sweets and other junk food.
She ended up being an overweight old lady with very painful arthritis, swollen ankles, acid reflux and high blood pressure by the time she was 60. At that point she had to have knee replacement surgery or she would not have been able to walk.
You could say that this is the standard set of illnesses of any elderly person. You could. But not in this case.
And the woman didn’t come to this on her own. Her daughter Michelle, who is a WBFF Pro Fitness Model champion, came to her aid. Her daughter was already working as a trainer in the 40+ age groups at the time and invited Joan to become one of the participants. She explained to her mother that if she didn’t change anything in her life, it would end in more medication and a short life. The woman, being utterly desperate, agreed.
It was January 2017 and she had just turned 70 years old. At 162 cm tall, she weighed 90 kg. That was her starting point.
For the sake of transformation, she bought a gym membership, a food scale and a measuring tape. Joan also made a collage of photos to visually track her changes.
But she was in for a surprise. She needed an app for her band class, and for that, her daughter gave her an iPhone. And it became a huge challenge for the woman. It took her a very long time to figure it out and it drove her to tantrums. But she got through it.
The woman has set herself that the path will be long and she will keep all the changes in training and nutrition for the rest of her life.
After reading many articles on the principles of healthy eating, she made up her diet with an emphasis on protein and fatty acid-rich foods.
But she did not reduce her calorie intake much, but increased it over time. She needed energy for strength training.
As for training, she worked out four times a day in the gym and did cardio exercises every day. And in order not to lose interest in training, she changed her training program every week.
In less than two years, she lost 30 pounds and had her figure shaped.
In January 2023, Joan McDonald was 76 years old. During this time, she became a real sensation in the fitness world. She has 1.7 million followers on her social media site. She inspires not only the elderly, but the young as well.
A cheerful and positive fitness grandmother has transformed from a simple pensioner into a sports coach.
She often shoots for the covers of sports magazines. Sometimes together with her 52-year-old daughter Michelle. She is interviewed by well-known international publications.
She shares her nutritional secrets on the networks and shows off her impressive workouts. For example, squats with a 43kg barbell, deadlifts with 35-40kg, leg presses and gluteal bridges with 80kg, and pull-ups at least 6 times.
As before, she still has daily cardio exercises, and she has increased the number of workouts in the gym to five per week.
During this time, McDonald wrote a book called Change Your Age. Her inspirational podcast, “Anything is Possible,” can be found on her page. She has also created her own app with a course for aging women.
Of course, Joan MacDonald is more of an amateur than a professional. And everyone can choose a coach for themselves, but she is a worthy example to follow. She proves that everything is possible, you just have to start doing it. You can be 70 years old like her, you can be 25 or 90. Age doesn’t matter.
Coaching analysis of form and naturalness
It is very likely that she is on hormone replacement therapy, which means that she is taking steroids in small amounts.
Because she has a very developed muscle mass for 76 years old. She’s a real athlete. And at that age, the muscles are atrophying, and training alone would probably not be enough.
But we tend to think that she’s basically a chemical athlete. But at her age that’s perfectly justified and in no way diminishes her merits.